in·​fer·​no | \ in-ˈfər-(ˌ)nō How to pronounce inferno (audio) \
plural infernos

Definition of inferno

: a place or a state that resembles or suggests hell the inferno of war also : an intense fire : conflagration a raging inferno

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Examples of inferno in a Sentence

By the time help arrived, the fire had grown to a raging inferno. the intense heat of the raging inferno repeatedly drove back the firefighters
Recent Examples on the Web Killed in the inferno were Dru Estes, 20, of San Antonio; David Angel Ortiz, 21, of Pasadena; Haley Michele Frizzell, 19, of San Angelo; Belinda Moats, 21, of Big Wells; and James Phillip Miranda, 23, of Mount Pleasant. Peggy O’hare, San Antonio Express-News, 4 May 2021 Some experts warn that revoking intellectual property rules could disrupt the industry, slowing its efforts to deliver vaccines — like reorganizing the fire department amid an inferno. New York Times, 15 May 2021 Travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, health officials say, poured gasoline on California’s fall surge — creating a massive viral inferno that rampaged across the state for weeks. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, 5 Mar. 2021 While Moutsos live-streamed the inferno, families stood and gawked. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 May 2021 Instead of an inferno, the infections will be more like embers, scattered in communities here and there, and harder to find. Alice Park, Time, 27 Apr. 2021 After extensive cleanup and reclamation in the wake of a July inferno, the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard will be decommissioned in San Diego next week before being towed to Texas where it will be scrapped, the Navy said in a statement. Andrew Dyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Apr. 2021 The inferno spread through more than 153,000 acres and killed 85 people, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. NBC News, 30 Apr. 2021 The inferno, which Navy officials are investigating as arson, burned almost five days and required hundreds of firefighters, crew members, and several water and air craft to put it out. Andrew Dyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inferno.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inferno

1834, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for inferno

Italian, hell, from Late Latin infernus

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Time Traveler for inferno

Time Traveler

The first known use of inferno was in 1834

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Statistics for inferno

Last Updated

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inferno.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for inferno



English Language Learners Definition of inferno

: a very large and dangerous fire


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